The Advocacy Lab

The Advocacy Lab at Movement Labs drives progressive change at the local, state, and federal levels. We build power in marginalized communities by offering pro-bono text banking, training, strategic research, and other support to directly impacted grassroots groups that are advocating to reform the justice system, address the climate crisis , protect  our democracy, and  ensure everyone has what they need to thrive.

Since its inception in the summer of 2021, the Advocacy Lab has texted 6,984,068 people for 67 partners supporting 24 policies in 32 states — these texts identified 96,858 supporters and prompted 74,589 people to take action.

Some ways we’ve helped partners:

supporters identified
in 6 target states for future voting rights calls to action.

calls driven
to support the Gender Recognition Act in New York state.
(It passed!)

attendees recruited
for a rally urging Senator Sinema to end the Filibuster.

hosts recruited
in target states for the nationwide John Lewis Day of Action.

supporters recruited
to 21 rallies on a national day for abortion justice.

of attendees
for child tax credit rallies recruited through our texts.

increase in attendance
seen on the days we texted for a NOW rally.

people recruited to testify
at a City Hall hearing in support of Commercial Rent Stabilization.

Helped 136 undocumented workers apply to receive
in Covid unemployment ($15,000 each).

The Advocacy Lab provides three types of support:

  • Rapid response text banking to voters in response to the most urgent needs in the nation offered to a network of over 5,000 partners on an ongoing basis. Nominate a group or request support! 
  • National coalition work, where we fill gaps in coalition strategy and capacity as part of over a dozen national coalitions, and prioritize partners who also need base building support. Invite us to support your coalition!
  • Our juried Advocacy Texting Fellowship is a transformative grant that offers texting support over the course of an entire advocacy campaign as well as training and capacity building to help grassroots groups grow to the next level.

Through our texting, we engage voters in actions, events, and advocacy to pass bold progressive laws and work to overturn egregious legislation. We help build people power using petition signatures, calls and emails, and citizen lobbying to grow membership for these organizations by engaging the broader community of voters, identifying supporters, and building membership lists.

We prioritize organizations led by the people directly affected by the policies they’re trying to change and those who don’t have the funding or capacity to run text banks themselves.

The Advocacy Lab Texting Fellowship

In addition to granting text banks to grassroots organizers to support their events, lobby efforts, and other calls to action, we have launched our inaugural Advocacy Texting Fellowship.

Through The Advocacy Lab Texting Fellowship, Movement Labs will award peer to peer texting grants worth up to $25,000 each to 12 grassroots organizations working to build power and drive progressive change in marginalized communities. Grants will support organizations throughout an entire legislative session toward identifying 5,000 new supporters and helping to pass critical, time-sensitive legislation. Additionally, the grants provide  training, coaching, and expert consultation, guaranteeing that the organizations leave the fellowship with broader memberships, winning campaigns, and a new set of strategic tools to use for their future organizing efforts. Read more about the fellowship.

Meet The 2021 Advocacy Lab Fellows!

We are beyond thrilled to announce the official winners of the first-ever Movement Labs Advocacy Texting Grant! We received over 200 applications, and our team spent weeks sifting through the thoughtful and inspiring applications by many organizations and campaigns doing impactful work. After much consideration, we’ve selected our 12 Advocacy Lab Fellows and we are proud to introduce them to you.

Action St. Louis

Action St. Louis is a grassroots racial justice organization building political power in Black communities in the St. Louis region. Action St. Louis builds campaigns that leverage organizing, communications, advocacy, and direct action to mitigate harm against their community while fighting for long-term transformation. Learn more about Action St. Louis.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

#STLTenants: Growing and mobilizing their tenant base to lead the strategy to implement policy priorities including a tenant bill of rights. #WeDrawSTL: Mobilize voters to engage in the redistricting process to ensure an equitable map. #DefundSLMPD: Engage residents in the budget process to increase feedback on moving resources in the budget and ARPA away from the police and to things outlined in our People’s Plan. Text for Action St. Louis.

Anti Police-Terror Project

Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) is a Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color. They support families surviving police terror in their fight for justice, documenting police abuses and connecting impacted families and community members with resources, legal referrals, and opportunities for healing. Learn more about APTP

How they’ll be using the text grant:

APTP plans to use this grant to further their ability to reach their base through texting, to engage about their Defund campaign, and other campaigns. Two current goals are passing SB 2, which would enable the decertification of police officers who harm or kill our community members and are found guilty of misconduct, and AB 118, which would provide statewide funding for pilot projects that could offer crisis response without police. Text for APTP.

Campaign for New York Health

Healthcare is a human right! Campaign for New York Health is a statewide coalition dedicated to passing and implementing legislation for guaranteed, universal, single-payer healthcare in New York State. The coalition represents more than 300 community and labor organizations made up of nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, union members, business leaders, faith and immigrant rights communities, progressive political organizations, healthcare advocates, and providers. Learn more about Campaign for New York Health.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

This grant will allow the coalition to grow a leaderful movement by helping volunteers build important advocacy skills including how to run text bank campaigns! As the group says: “Texting is a connective tissue of building power & leadership – recruitment to calls to action; as part of followup with new supporters; during rapid response moments. These are crucial to creating conditions where we can achieve universal healthcare – shifting the narrative, building a mass movement, and applying pressure on our elected officials.” We couldn’t agree more! Text for Campaign for New York Health.

Fairness West Virginia

Open to everyone who believes in fundamental fairness, Fairness West Virginia is the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender West Virginians. The organization’s mission is to ensure LGBT people can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the community. Learn more about Fairness West Virginia.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

Fairness will apply peer-to-peer texting to fight for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections at the state and local levels. Through texts, they will connect West Virginia residents with the tools to learn more about and advocate for inclusive policies. Text for Fairness West Virginia.

Free Hearts

Free Hearts is an organization led by formerly incarcerated women that provides direct support along with education, advocacy, and organizing opportunities to families impacted by incarceration with the ultimate goals of reuniting families and strengthening communities. Learn more about Free Hearts.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

Free Hearts are excited to use the grant to identify 5,000 new supporters in strategic locations across Tennessee where the bills in our policy agenda are being heard, along with in key areas where important DA races are being held and conversations need to include the voices of the community. Their policy agenda includes legislation in six categories: Decarceration, Decriminalization of Poverty, Drug Policy, Family & Reproductive Justice, Free The Vote, and Youth Justice. Text for Free Hearts.

Innovation Ohio

Innovation Ohio is a catalyst for progressive policy and grassroots activity that improves the lives of Ohio’s working families. Their vision is a more just and equitable society where every Ohioan can realize the American dream. Learn more about Innovation Ohio.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

Ohio House Republicans introduced two bills (HB 322 and 327) to ban the teaching of critical race theory and prevent students from receiving an honest and accurate education. Innovation Ohio intends to use this grant to mobilize Ohioans to put pressure on GOP lawmakers so these bills never make it to the Governor’s desk. Text for Innovation Ohio.

Make the Road New Jersey

Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant, working-class & Latinx communities to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, legal, policy innovation and transformative education. Learn more about Make the Road New Jersey.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

Make the Road New Jersey is focused on providing relief for workers and New Jerseyans left behind from Federal Aid. Their goal is to contact community members to register for program assistance and to push local elected officials to fully fund any excluded New Jerseyans. With this reach, they have the opportunity to provide needed resources to locals living without the aid they deserve! Text for Make the Road New Jersey.

Next Up Action Fund

Voting is a civil right. Yet, Oregon still has a law in place from the 1850s that prevents people in prison from voting. That’s why Next Up Action Fund is fighting to restore the right to vote to incarcerated Oregonians! Their work will be a historic step toward eliminating laws created in the Jim Crow era that are rooted in white supremacy and have no correlation to public safety. The Restoration of the Voting Rights Act will allow those with felony convictions to register to vote, update their voter registrations, and vote in elections, even while incarcerated. Learn more about Next Up Action Fund.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

The Movement Labs Advocacy Text grant will help mobilize communities across Oregon to contact their legislators in support of rightfully restoring the right to vote to incarcerated people. #votingrightsnow! Text for Next Up Action Fund.

PR LatinX Progressives & Power 4 Puerto Rico

Splitting the text grant to end colonialism in Puerto Rico are PR LatinX Progressives and Power 4 Puerto Rico, two collectives of Puerto Rican, diáspora, and Latinx organizations, individuals, and allies advocating for the well-being and future of the Island. Together, they strive for Puerto Rican voices living on the island to be heard and taken into consideration when Congress makes decisions that affect them. Learn more about PR LatinX Progressives. Learn more about Power 4 Puerto Rico.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

These powerhouse organizations will launch a texting program campaign in strategic Congressional districts to build support for Puerto Rican Self-Determination. The text banking will be used to build phone banks and email lists, which will then be used as support for virtual lobby visits with the Representatives of the Districts they are targeting. Text for PR LatinX Progressives and Power 4 Puerto Rico.

ReThink Energy Florida

Through the Carbon Free Communities Campaign, ReThink Energy Florida works to persuade City and County governments in Florida to publicly commit to converting to 100% net renewable energy, and to hold these local governments accountable to following through on their commitments. They believe that local commitments will help reduce emissions and help to mitigate climate change. Learn more about ReThink Energy Florida.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

The grant will help ReThink engage community members in Hollywood, FL, Brevard County, and Leon County to interact with their local leaders to move these areas forward in moving to a commitment to 100% clean energy. The future is #carbonneutral! Text for ReThink Energy Florida.

Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council

Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council (TCJES) is a group of formerly incarcerated and otherwise system-impacted Texans who seek to end mass incarceration and promote a successful path for returning individuals. Launched in 2020, the TCJES puts these leaders at the forefront of the movement to transform justice. TCJES participants currently represent dozens of cities across Texas, allowing for localized networks of advocates who can be activated for change in their cities and at the Texas Capitol. Learn more about TCJES.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

TCJES’s goal is to identify, educate, and train a broader base of system-impacted people throughout Texas in advance of the state’s next legislative session in January 2023. The TCJES plans to use peer-to-peer texting to: 1. Recruit people to attend regular TCJES meetings, local visioning sessions, and trainings on organizing and advocacy to effectively coalesce around priority reforms, and 2. Urge people to share their own stories of system impact and participate in narrative-shifting campaigns. Text for TCJES.

Worth Rises

Worth Rises is a criminal justice advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industry and ending the exploitation of those it touches. Learn more about Worth Rises.

How they’ll be using the text grant:

Worth Rises will use this grant to support #EndTheException, a campaign to end slavery and involuntary servitude once and for all. The Thirteenth Amendment is celebrated for abolishing slavery, but few know that it included an insidious exception that allows for slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. They are fighting to pass the Abolition Amendment to end this exception. Text for Worth Rises.

Join us!

We launched the Advocacy Texting Grant to build power. There is a clear need for more progressive laws, policies, and changes across our nation, and we are confident that our 12 Advocacy Lab Fellows are paving the way to make the impact we need. Are you ready to join them?